Even if gas prices hit $5 a gallon, travel by vehicle costs less, is more convenient and is not as stressful as flying, according to the Car Care Council. A family of four traveling by car costs the same as one person traveling by air.
Based on a family of four traveling 1,000 miles round-trip, the council compared the cost of flying vs. driving.
By air: A family of four traveling by air will spend an average of $1,508 for tickets, based on 2010 third quarter statistics from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Add to this cost checked baggage fees, transportation to and from the airport and/or parking.
By vehicle: If gasoline prices were $5 a gallon, the cost for a family of four traveling by SUV would be about $350. This number includes the cost of gasoline, plus tire wear and maintenance based on the American Automobile Association’s vehicle operating costs.
In addition to the obvious direct cost savings, going by car offers a number of advantages over flying including:
- Pack whatever and as much as you want.
- More and better meal options.
- No rental car or taxi expenses.